The Student Room Group

End of the day blues...don't mind me

First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Hey!

When I was a student I found it very hard to make friends, I'm a very shy and anxious person so the thought of starting up conversation first was too daunting for me! It's totally normal to feel this way, not everyone makes instant connections and can feel confident all of the time.

In terms of your course mates, can you try something small like adding them on social media and then start by replying to a story and trying to initiate a conversation that way? You might get chatting about a mutual interest (for me when I talk about something I love such as TV shows I find myself being able to talk confidently for ages!)

You could ask them about a recent lecture, what their essay is on, if they have any weekend plans, their fave book/movie, where they would recommend you go for dinner on campus etc. Just small little things to ask about can lead to bigger conversations :smile:

You could also try complimenting someone, it could be to do with their clothing, or a bag/notebook they have, or something to do with their work in class.

Do any of your course mates go study together do you know? Or could you try organise a study group in your uni library? If you start doing this, you could then start asking if everyone wanted to go grab a coffee afterwards or go for a walk.

Have you thought about joining any clubs or societies? That could be an easier way to break the ice with new people as you'll share that common interest with them, helping make conversation that bit easier. You could also look into volunteering opportunities, becoming a student ambassador, going along on any student union trips or attending events at the uni.

If you appear open and approachable then hopefully other people will initiate that conversation with you first, but don't give up hope, things take time and I'm sure you'll make some great friendships soon!

Good luck!! :smile:

Becky
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Hi there,

Building meaningful connections at university is hard! I was always too nervous to initiate conversations in my first year, but looking back, I really wish I did. Just know that this is totally normal, and lots of people are feeling the same way.

As the Bradford Rep said, doing something small like adding them on social media would be a great place to start. Even just smiling or saying 'hi' when you pass them in the halls is great to establish some familiarity with one another too, which could then lead into you asking them about something you've seen in a lecture or on social media, asking them to grab coffee sometime, or planning to study together.

I've met a lot of great people through being a student ambassador and volunteering, so it might be a good idea to have a look at the kind of opportunities that are available in your area and at your university. Joining a sport or society is also a great thing to consider, as you'll already have something in common to talk about and break the ice!

It can be really uncomfortable to begin with, but it is definitely worth it to break past the initial awkwardness and gain a friend. Don't be discouraged, and remember to look after yourself!

Best of luck,
Isabella 🙂
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Anon,

I know what you mean. You have spoken to a person once or twice and had a bit of a conversation with them, but you don't talk to them all the time. How long does it take before you can say a person is a friend and would they say the same? It can be awkward!

I view people as acquaintances until I have spent enough time with them to call them friends, but I have a friend who views people as friends straight away and refers to them as a friend. In some ways, I think this helps her to speed up friendships because she treats them as a friend and then expects them to act as friend and so that person takes on that role: they become a friend.

It's very difficult when there are potentially other people who want friendships, but who deal with their loneliness by putting their head down, putting their headphones on, or being on the phone etc... but perhaps these are the people you can go out of your way to try and be friends with e.g. if they have got their headphones on, you could ask: What are you listening to? What music are you into? Do you like podcasts? If they are on the phone: Are you catching up on the latest sports news? If they have got their head down: are you planning to go to this uni event? What did you think of yesterday's lecture or seminar?

If people just ignore you, then I think you can safely move on. (You don't have to be friends with everybody and you want to be friends with people who are kind!)

Talk about anything and everything as long as it's not controversial, political or something that you know a person might be sensitive about. (Once you have got to know them better, you will know if you're able to talk about these things with them.) Talk about the weather, sport, uni work, the weekend, the book you're reading, the film you watched, university life, uni accommodation/commuting etc...

It's a skill to be able to initiate conversation but sometimes it's as simple as 'how's life with you?/how are you doing with the _________assignment?/have you got anything nice planned for the weekend?/ do you know any good vegetarian or vegan recipes I could try?/do you know somewhere where they sell gluten-free cakes?/ have you joined any societies?/ are you going to this university event etc...

Try not to overthink it.

Talk about how you're feeling (What you are excited, nervous or worried about and why)

In short, just be you!

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Hey there!

My best advice is to try and connect with them about something you'd relate on. For example, you already clearly have things in common because you've picked the same course. Try and pick up on little things through that or if there's something you don't understand and vice-versa then ask people about it. I always found making friends so much easier in my seminar groups than in lectures because you could sit with a smaller group and there'd always be group activities to chat to people in. I don't think people will purposely be trying to ignore you, it'll be more so the sort of thing where you overanalyse conversations with new people because you feel anxious about them. We all do it and it's completely normal. If a conversation dies down, start up a new one! You could also find out if there's any groupchats going or ask to go to the library with one of the groups and get yourself in that way.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Hey,



I definitely feel this as someone who transferred uni and struggled to make meaningful connections myself. You've had some really great suggestions above already, but just wanted to add that I found at the end of my degree, the closest friends I had made were with people I did group work with in seminars/workshops. I feel like it's a lot more natural to start conversations in those scenarios/add people on social media etc. like people suggested above!

Hope everything works out for you ❤️

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous #1
First term at uni, it's hard to actually build a meaningful connection (I talked to some people, some more than once, but would I call them my friends yet? I'm not too sure about that...) And most of the time in lectures people are either in groups already, or they sit apart but have their head down, headphones on, phone on etc so it's pretty hard to talk to them. Or there are groups of people talking and when I tried to join in, I would get ignored eventually and feel embarassed.

How do you break the ice initially? To even start talking without sounding too artificial? I feel rather pathetic, being not brave enough to initiate the conversation.

Hi there,

I understand how challenging it can be to make meaningful connections during your first term at university. It's common to feel unsure about whether the people you've talked to can be considered friends yet. In lectures, it can be difficult to approach others who are already in groups or seem preoccupied with their own activities.

To break the ice and initiate conversations without sounding artificial, try starting with simple and genuine questions or comments related to the lecture or class material. For example, you can ask someone's opinion on a topic discussed in class or share your thoughts on a particular point. Additionally, consider joining study groups or taking part in extracurricular activities where you can meet people with similar interests.

Remember, building friendships takes time, and it's normal to face some rejections or moments of feeling embarrassed. Stay open-minded and keep trying to engage with others. You're not alone in feeling hesitant to initiate conversations, so don't be too hard on yourself. Be patient and keep putting yourself out there, and you'll eventually find people who are interested in getting to know you.

Take care,

Ilya :smile:

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